Man suspected of kidnapping

Police say woman was dragged from Tamarack to Dream Island

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A Steamboat Springs man was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and assault after he is alleged to have dragged an estranged girlfriend from Tamarack Drive to Dream Island.

Todd Phillip Griffith, 36, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping with injury, false imprisonment with beating, first-degree burglary and third-degree assault. The kidnapping charge is a Class 1 felony and carries a minimum punishment of a life sentence and a maximum punishment of death.

The man's 43-year-old estranged girlfriend told police Griffith broke into her home in the 400 block of Tamarack Drive, dragged her on foot down Fish Creek Falls Road, across Lincoln Avenue and along the bike path to his residence in the Dream Island Mobile Home Community, said Steamboat Springs Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing.

When police found her, the woman was badly injured with bruises on her face, shoulders, upper chest and left arm, Fiebing said. She also had frostbitten feet and toes and complained of head pains, he said.

The woman told police that about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Griffith broke into a residence she shared with her two brothers on Tamarack Drive.

She said he physically assaulted her inside the home and then dragged her out the door.

The woman told police that anytime she resisted, Griffith would grab her hair and jerk her head back until she continued to go with him.

At the entrance of the bike path, the woman lost her shoes and was dragged through the snow and ice in her socks, Fiebing said.

On the walk, Griffith allegedly said, "You better hope your brothers come to save you," and "You better keep your mouth shut," the woman told police.

The woman's brothers reported a possible kidnapping to police about 6 p.m. Tuesday. They had returned home from work and found the front door knocked in, the inside of the house ransacked and their sister missing.

The brothers said there was a history of violence between their sister and Griffith, and they suspected he had taken her.

Based on the brothers' suspicion that she was with Griffith, police Officers Dale Coyner and Damien Baynes and Routt County sheriff's Deputy Tony Weiss went to Griffith's home about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday.

After knocking on the door and determining no one was home, the officers were getting ready to leave the property.

About that time, Griffith stumbled up to the front of the trailer, dragging the woman with his left arm and holding a bottle of vodka in his right hand, Fiebing said.

The woman was shoeless, her clothes were frozen, and she was badly bruised, Fiebing said.

The police could see the woman was badly injured and told Griffith he was under arrest. Griffith then started running away but was quickly brought to the ground and handcuffed by the officers, Fiebing said.

The officers took the woman to Yampa Valley Medical Center for treatment.

Griffith was taken to Routt County Jail on Tuesday night, where he remains on a $100,000 bond.

"I think (the officers) probably saved her life by being at the trailer," Fiebing said.

--To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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